Brazil covers an area that is slightly smaller than the US and has about 200 million inhabitants. From an energy access point of view, it is very challenging for the main power utilities to get as many people as possible connected to the grid. Among its people, the country knows disparities of opportunities that can lead to social exclusion.
Its long coast – where most wind is expected – knows places that cannot be reached by the grid and where decentralised energy systems play an important role for electricity access.
We see in this country an opportunity to – one the one side – have locally built small wind turbines play a role to provide clean energy to offgrid windy places – and on the other side – setup training centers where people with a relative low education level can step in and develop in learning how to manufacture and install such locally built wind turbines.
Siemens invited three members of WindEmpowerment association in June 2012 to come to the Rio+20 conference and participate in their “Technology in Action” campaign. Additionally Siemens also funded the materials and tools to conduct a workshop at site. This was a great opportunity to get exposure for the WindEmpowerment association and also led to kick-off a training project in Brazil (more info). The workshop has been led by Gaël Cesa who is member of the Tripalium organisation.
Now – one year later – in June 2013, a follow-up workshop is planned in Montes Claros at the social organisation Berimbau. This initiative is in financial reach thanks to the tools sponsored by Siemens that are still available in Brasil. Marco Ogno has been trained as teacher in Holland by ILWP members and will give the workshop to a group of interested craftsman that have the intention to disseminate this technology in the future. More information about this workshop can be found here.